Alive? And Kicking?!

The coffin opens. The ice thaws. The cyborg rises from the force field that sent him back through time. That’s so many movies and television shows from the 1980s. It’s something of a route motif. But then again Retrobacktive was nothing if not a harbor of cliches.

So is that what we’re doing? Shaking off the cobwebs? Stretching our eyelids and waiting for our itching retinas to see again? I don’t know. I’m just curious. In 1989 Robert Zemeckis’ Back to the Future II foretold a present day where we wouldn’t “need roads,” and indeed would have hovering skateboards and self-inflating Nikes.

The world, you may have noticed, does not look much like the one inhabited by a young Marty McFly Jr. But then again it really doesn’t look anything like it did thirty years ago when the first Back to the Future hit the big screen. The present, in a way, is like every room you’ve never been in. You always have an idea of what it will look like before you walk through the door. But it never materializes in such a way. How could it? Presumably you have no grand illusions of predicting the future. And no one transported you there, so every step you took en route was a gradual process in demystification.

Well, welcome to 2015. Welcome to phone-computers, self-directing cars, and virtual video stores at the click of a button. Welcome to the first black President of the United States, gay marriage, and legalized marijuana. Welcome to a family-friendly New York City, an accessible Cuba, and nuclear disarmament. Welcome to a world where beer doesn’t taste like water!

Let’s not kid ourselves: if you pulled someone out of 1985 and plunked them down in Anywhere, U.S.A. today, his mind would be blown. Just because our cars can’t fly doesn’t mean we haven’t evolved tremendously in thirty years. To us observers in real time, we just didn’t notice it.

So the world did change. And maybe Retrobacktive, too?

One year ago I put my quirky, little culture blog into indefinite stasis. No element spurred this action more than WordPress’ restructured interface. For my part, I saw the future of Retrobacktive, and blogging as a whole, in media add-ons. We put a video here, some audio there, pics all over, fun stuff like that. But I was stifled. It wasn’t such a difficult task in January of 2013. These attributes were readily available. But something happened. WordPress made it harder and harder. Disillusion set in.

Look we all mistakes (hint, hint; I’m talking to you, WordPress!). Maybe it’s not so bad anymore? Let’s try something.


There’s a picture of Eeyore.

I used to be able to pull up licensed pictures from a commons file while I worked on posts. That’s been taken away. Now I have to go and hunt down my pics off the Internet, download them to my computer, and upload them to WordPress? You know when bull’s defecate…that’s what they defecate.

Seems all WordPress has going for it these days is it’s community. Fair enough; that’s a pretty big asset. Weebly doesn’t have that. And Retrobacktive doesn’t have a Facebook page (neither does the author), so there isn’t an effective way to reach and gain an audience.

But even more than that, writing about the 80s is just fun! Not sure what it is about 25-year-old reflection, but it’s comforting in an inexplicable way. If only there was a way to incorporate additional elements without disrupting the theme of the blog itself. It would help this author feel a bit more rounded. Admittedly there are few logical similarities between early 20th Century existential philosophy… and Hall & Oates. Maybe? We can try.

Hey, at the end of the day just finding a space to have your voice heard is worth something. Funny, it seems like that was what all these social media platforms were made for, a universal platform for everybody’s personal view. I’d argue, though, that absolutely no one is being heard. It’s just rhetoric that’s thrown into the mix; some of it sticks, but only for a matter of seconds. Nothing profound lingers.

Well, if Retrobacktive can leave even something a little more adherent on the wall, then it’s worth fighting for.